An artificial river created from a rock blast poses is threatening to wipe away our community, the residents say.
Residents of Imosan in Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State have alerted the state government to the danger posed by a body of water created by rock blasts due to the activities of a construction company.
A prominent leader in the community, Kamorudeen Olanrewaju, said on Thursday that a crater created due to the blasts had resulted in a ‘stand still’ river.
Mr. Olanrewaju said if urgent steps were not taken by the state government to divert the water within the crater, the community could be adversely affected.
”The river is rising in volume on a daily basis, it poses a danger to the community due to its stand still nature.
”This river started like a stream when a foreign construction company came to the community to blast rock and we appealed to them then to cover it which it did not.
”One thing about the river is that it is standing still and is rising in volume every day and this poses serious danger to our lives because if it over flows, the whole community could be wiped off,” he said.
Mr. Olanrewaju also claimed that many children in the area had drowned in the river.
Also speaking, the Chief Imam of Imosan, Yasiru Hamzat, said government needs to come to the rescue of the community to save residents from a looming disaster.
Mr. Hamzat said the water-filled crater, if allowed to overflow its bounds, could overwhelm the whole community.
”I will call the river a fabricated one because it was not there before; it came into existence as a result of rock blasts by the construction company which came to this community in 1974.
”The river is posing a serious danger and risk to the inhabitants of this community and has become a place that nobody can go near unless the person is ready to die.
”Government needs to come to our rescue by diverting this river to prevent future disasters which nobody can predict,” he said.
Ronke Mohammed-Brown, another resident of the town, expressed fears of an imminent flood.
”The fear of the community is that one day while we are sleeping, we might be swept away by flood water because the river is now full to the brim,” Ms. Mohammed-Brown said.
She said many hunters, who went hunting at night, and children who did not know how deep the river was, had drowned.
”Since the day the foreign construction company came to blast rock in this community and created that river, we have been living in fear,” she said.
Ms. Mohammed-Brown urged the government to compel the company to rectify the damage wrought in the community.
A community leader, Tajudeen Adekunle, also said he never thought the river would expand to the present level. Mr. Adekunle said residents of the community are now living in fear and appealed to the government to come to their rescue.
A correspondent, who visited the area, saw that the crater was filled to the brim and surrounded by rocks.
When contacted on the development, the state Commissioner for Environment, Lanre Tejuosho, said he would send a team from the ministry to the community.
He gave an assurance that the ministry would act accordingly after the team’s visit.